The World Bank today announced the launch of a new partnership that will help developing countries integrate the economic benefits of ecosystems such as forests, wetlands and coral reefs provide into national accounting systems.
The partnership programme to "green" national accounts, which was actively supported by India, will be launched in a group of six to 10 countries - starting with Colombia and India.
Feasibility studies to identify priority ecosystems will start soon in Colombia and India. Other countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Central Europe have also indicated strong interest in being pilot countries under the partnership.
A World Bank release issued today said the programme aimed at introducing the practice of ecosystem valuation into national accounts at scale so that better management of natural environments becomes `business as usual'.
Speaking in Nagoya, Japan at the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting, World Bank Group president Robert B Zoellick said the alarming loss of biological diversity around the world could be partly attributed to the lack of proper value being placed on ecosystems and the services they provide.
He said the new partnership can provide the "missing information" on a country's "natural capital" to guide leaders in decision-making.